January 27

Exodus 30-31, Psalm 27

All of us have been given gifts. Some are natural, some are inherited, but they all are given to us by God. Vanity is one of those sins which is almost comical. We did nothing to acquire our basic appearance, yet many can’t get their face out of the mirror or stop themselves from taking selfies. Other gifts we must work at, but still the gift was given. Athletic ability can be improved upon, but some are born with coordination while others are not. Not only do people pridefully see their own gifts, but certain gifts such as acting and athletics receive constant media attention and accolades. May we never forget that gifts are just that, gifts from God. Bezalel and Aholiab were obviously gifted artisans, now put in charge of an amazing project. We read of them in Exodus 31:1-6, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:”. There should never be an I or me when it comes to our gifts. May we all use what God has given us (and God has given all of us who are filled with the Holy Spirit, gifts) not for our glory, but to glorify God. We read in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Lucifer, a tremendously gifted cherub, lost focus of this point, and we all know the consequence of that.

Mentioning the Sabbath again here in Exodus 31:12-17, may seem out of sequence, but makes a lot of sense. It would be easy to so focus on the task at hand and forget or rationalize away this command. So many people lead busy lives with their spouse, with their children, at work, etc. It is so easy to place all of these concerns front and center and place the things of God on the back burner. The first commandment in Exodus 20:3 is: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Whenever, we place anything, even a good thing before God, it has become an idol. A frequently asked question is whether, we Gentiles, must follow the Sabbath. The Sabbath was the only one of the 10 Commandments not restated in the New Testament. Therefore, it was more of a covenant between God and the people of Israel, much like circumcision. This is illustrated in Colossians 2:16-17 ” So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ”. There is certainly nothing wrong with taking a Sabbath rest, in fact, it is a good thing to set a day aside to relax and focus on God.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato